Thursday, 7 April 2011

Around Le Marais, Paris: Maison George Larnicol

French macarons and chocolates "go together like a horse and carriage!" That's what I have been finding out. For a sugarholic and a chocoholic, like me, that can be dangerous! But, I am delighted to share my new find with you at Maison George Larnicol.
George Larnicol is a confectioner and chocolatier from Brittany, who has set up shop in Paris. He has earned the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France award, given to artisans for their exceptional craftsmanship. While walking on the rue de Rivoli, I noticed how his store was a bit different from the other confectionery shops.
This is what got me so excited! After reading the signage on the window display, there was no stopping me. "We guarantee that all our macarons have no animal fat - 0% dairy - 0% creme - 0% butter." That means they make the healthiest macarons, right?
Furthermore, they guarantee that they only use natural, vegetable coloring agents.
Choices, choices, choices! 
I picked rose, vanille, framboise (raspberry), and caramel. I delightfully ate each piece, as soon as I paid for them, with no guilt feelings. The flavors were fresh and light, sweetly refreshing.

With Easter just around the corner, his fancy chocolate designs were all over the store:
a hatching Easter egg...
 a mother hen sitting on her Easter eggs...
shoes, Easter eggs, little animal characters, and boats - something fun and entertaining for the children.

Here's another specialty product at Maison George Larnicol:
Les kouignettes are made from a redesigned recipe of Kouig Amann  by monsieur confiseur, George Larnicol. It's a kind of butter cake, a butter roll, or however you want to call it.

With this exotic sounding name, I was wondering about the origin of this Breton pastry which dates back to 1860. To my surprise, it is derived from two words in the dialect of Brittany: "kouig" means cake and "amann" means butter. This is some kind of a cake with lots of butter in between dough layers! And let me add that it has a good amount of sugar, too. 
The above sign reads that sixteen natural flavors are used to make the caramel au beurre salé (caramel with salted butter, or something we know as toffee) as it is typically found in Brittany, a region in the northwest coast of France. And that's what makes this so amazingly good. 
They come in a variety of flavors. I took home two kouignettes: Rhum and Raisin; and Framboise. Oh, there are almost no words to describe the caramel at the bottom of these rolls. Simply divine. I was unstoppable! It's a good thing I only bought two. This brought back fond memories of my favorite pecan rolls from Cinnabon, with the caramelized sugar and butter in the sticky bottoms.

There is a wider repertoire on the shelves of caramels, chocolates, cookies and other candies, some in bins and some pre-wrapped.
At the top are the caramels - in salty, nutty or fruity flavor; and below are the mini boule bins - balls of chocolate-enrobed truffles, nuts, fruits and caramels. 
Packed in wooden containers are galets - chocolate-dipped glaced fruit and whole nut; rocher - chocolate rocks made with glaced orange peel and puffed rice; and some  mini boule - chocolate speckled eggs, all ready for Easter gift-giving and celebration. 
You can also buy them by weight.
To round up their selection, they also have chocolate chip cookies and merengue. 
Here is my candy bag!  

As an artist, George Larnicol makes fan and sculptural pieces. On display were...
this extra big ladybug...
 a fashionable lady...
and a floral arrangement, all made with organic white, milk and dark chocolate.

And if you have any special occasion to celebrate, for your centerpiece or giveaways, George would be happy to design and create them just for you. At the maison, they boast that their chocolates are 100% natural and animal fat-free. 

Here is another discovery I made - their prices are 25% to 40% cheaper than most places. For all the sampling I did, the damage was below 10 euros. On my designated decadent days, I can see myself going back there.

14, rue de Rivoli Paris 4e Arrt. 
Tel. +33 (0)1 42 71 20 51
Métro: Saint-Paul
Hours: Mon. to Sat. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


  1. yogi, keep posting!!! i'm a fan :-)

  2. Thanks, Caress. There are many more coming!



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